Certain vaccine shots are more painful than others. This is not a reason to fear vaccines. It is easier to treat the soreness at the injection site or the fever, than the disease for which the child was vaccinated.

It’s true. To fall victim to naysayers who spin conspiracy theories around vaccines, is to put yourself and your loved ones in danger. Vaccines are run through several tests and evaluation to ensure it is safe before introducing it into the market. Most vaccines provide lifelong protection against diseases that could otherwise be fatal or lead to widespread infection. When you can help your child steer clear of pain, hospitalization and life-long battles with deadly diseases, thanks to immunization, why would you choose not to do it?


Vaccination is the process of introducing a vaccine into a person’s body. Immunization is the protection that the body develops because of the vaccine. However, vaccination and immunization are used interchangeably to refer to the vaccine shot administered to the person. Each vaccine fends off a specific disease. There is no single shot that can boost your immunity. Different countries prescribe different sets of vaccinations, depending on the prevalence of the disease in their region. Therefore, when traveling from one country to another, it is important to check with the paediatrician if there are vaccines your child needs to take before boarding the plane.


  • Vaccination protects your child from acquiring harmful diseases that could lead to loss of life or permanent damage to some part of the child’s body.
  • Diseases such as measles, whooping cough and mumps are serious threats on the well-being of your child. Fortunately, all three can be prevented with vaccines. There are other similar diseases that can also be prevented through timely vaccination.
  • Medical research is way more advanced than it was decades ago. Yet every vaccine undergoes several clinical trials before it is made available to the general public.
  • Certain vaccine shots are more painful than others. The pain may continue for a few hours or the child may develop a mild fever. This is not a reason to fear vaccines. It is easier to treat the soreness at the injection site or the fever, than the disease for which the child was vaccinated.
  • The purpose of immunization is to prevent the spread of infectious disease. This means those with compromised immunity, have fewer chances of exposure to harmful infections.
  • Vaccines have eliminated certain harmful diseases – smallpox is one such disease. Periodic polio drives have decreased the number of cases by 99%.

At the time of birth, the child will receive BCG, OPV (0), Hep B (birth dose) vaccines. BCG is the vaccine for tuberculosis, OPV is given for polio and Hep B for Hepatitis. But the vaccinations do not end there. The first few years after birth are crucial from a vaccination point of view. Some of the other important vaccines that are given to children in India are: Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis vaccine, Rotavirus, Influenza shots, Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine, Varicella, Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR 3/MMRV) Vaccine and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine. Each of these needs to be given within a certain age for them to be effective at all and some of these vaccines need multiple booster doses to ensure efficacy. This means it is necessary to follow up with the paediatrician at the right times for various vaccine shots. New parents must get a proper immunization schedule and stick to it as per the doctor’s recommendation.


  • Redness and soreness at the injection site that can last for a few hours or even a day, in some cases.
  • Mild fever is a side effect to certain vaccinations.
  • Fatigue and crankiness.
  • Temporary loss of appetite.
  • Moderate nausea.

All of these side-effects are short lived and resolve themselves on their own. However, you can check with the paediatrician if there are drugs you can give the child. If the symptoms get severe or last for more than 2 to 3 days, you can check with the doctor about treating allergic reactions to the vaccine. Before your child has the shot,

  • Inform the doctor/ nurse about any food or medicine allergies that you or your child has (if any).
  • Inform the doctor/ nurse if the previous dose of that particular shot had any side-effects on the child.
  • Ask your doctor/ nurse if the shot is likely to have side-effects, what medicines can be given and for how long the side-effects will last.

As parents it is your responsibility to make wise and informed decisions for the health and happiness of your children. Vaccines are life savers. When a person gets an infection, once it passes, they will have developed immunity to the disease, meaning they will not get that infection again. Those who do not believe in vaccines argue that when immunity can be developed naturally, why intervene. While it might seem logical, the truth is that these diseases can cause your child severe pain, irreparable damage to their body and in some cases they can prove fatal. All this can be avoided with a vaccination. Talk to your doctor and give your child a shield of medical protection.